Capital budget clears legislature in early morning hours

The negotiated version of the new two-year state capital budget was approved by the Legislature in the early morning hours on the final day of the 2019 legislative session.

State Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, who serves as the ranking Republican for the capital budget, heralded the significant investments around the state and projects in the 15th District.

“This is a strong budget for priorities we all have as Washingtonians, and for needs in our community,” said Honeyford. “I’m very pleased that we were able to reach agreement that unlocks investments in building out our mental health facilities, helping rural school construction, and funding critical water projects statewide.”

The final budget includes more than $150 million for state mental health facilities, in addition to nearly $120 million earmarked for community-based behavioral health beds. The state will invest over $1 billion in school construction, including $20 million in grants for small district modernization. While Honeyford continues work on a larger water-needs funding program, the 2019-21 capital budget will invest nearly $500 million in flood prevention and water quality and supply projects around the state.

Honeyford secured just over $23 million for projects in the 15th District, including:

  • $2.5 million for the Yakima Veterans Supportive Housing;
  • $469,000 for the Yakima County Veterans Dental Facility;
  • $26,000 for the Sunnyside Yakima Valley-TEC Welding Program; and
  • $150,000 for construction at the Granger Historical Museum.

“I’m pleased with the significant support for veterans in our community and the variety of important community-based projects we were able to fund,” said Honeyford. “Especially important are significant water-related investments in the whole region, such as $40 million for the Yakima River Basin water supply.”